The Singapore government plans to allow vaccinated tourists from all countries to enter without going through quarantine.
The policy will take effect after the Omicron wave has passed.
Quoted from CNBC, on Thursday 17th February 2022, Singapore‘s Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the new travel policy was intended to prevent the entry of new imported cases. Only 1 percent of the total cases in the country were imported and they were considered to have had no significant impact.
“We should actually put more emphasis on stay home notices (SHN) and testing on travellers, (and) more on ensuring that they are fully vaccinated,” he said.
Ong Ye Kung also said that the focus of the Singapore government in the future will be to monitor tourists visiting Singapore. The main fear is that they will fall ill and add to Singapore’s healthcare burden.
“Instead of having vaccinated travel routes with certain countries that we think are low risk, we should actually allow free travel for fully vaccinated tourists,” he said.
According to him, this new transition needs to take place after the Omicron wave peaks and begins to subside. As such, the authorities have not set a date for this new policy to take effect.
However, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said that the peak of the Omicron wave was coming in a few weeks.
In a bid to reopen its borders, Singapore has already announced so-called travel routes for those who have been vaccinated. This applies to tourists from certain countries who can visit and do not have to undergo quarantine.
When the new border measures take effect, vaccinated travellers from all countries will not be subject to quarantine requirements.
“Our main goal is quarantine-free travel for all vaccinated travelers,” said Transportation Minister S Iswaran.
Singapore’s first step in this transition is to categorise the country of origin of tourists who want to visit.
On 22nd February 2022, the countries of the visiting tourists will be divided into three main groups namely limited, common, and low infections. Most countries will fall in the general category and will be subject to the same entry requirements. No countries are in the restricted visit category at this time.
However, according to Singaporean authorities, it is possible that countries and territories could be moved to the restricted visits category if new variants of concern are detected.